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August 21, 2009
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Complete darkness. I was about 45 feet under the surface of the water in Bonaire. My dad and I had donned our SCUBA gear just as the sun was setting over the Caribbean Sea. Once we had checked all of our gear, the sign was given, and we jumped into the water; quick buoyancy check and down we went.
We switched our lights on to illuminate the sea of darkness around us, and began to explore this foreign world. Orange sponges and purple fans caught the light and sang back to us in their ocean tongue. The ground was littered with trash, tin cans and old tires. But you can never neglect these treasures. The can was the home to a tiny black seahorse, which retreated from the beam of our light. Upon closer inspection of the tire, I found an octopus, desperately trying to hide from the new intruders. This “dump” was a diver’s dream; home to hundreds of different organisms.
Often times, the most unique and interesting of things are the smallest. This was the case when I saw a glint of blue. I swam closer to investigate, never taking my eyes off this speck. Soon, the blue speck took the form of a small fish. It had a translucent body and a neon blue head. Right between its little black eyes was a simple yellow dot. How could something so small hold so much beauty? The fish was so minute, but had a life of its own. Its fins were beating a hundred times per second, just trying to maintain its position. I checked my dive computer: 45 feet, 2100 psi, 13 minutes into my dive.
Darkness. My light had burnt out and I was suddenly nowhere. I could see nothing and felt weightless. Then, the panic set in. “Which way is up? Will I suddenly run out of air? Is ‘Jaws’ behind me in this sea of nothingness?” I remember telling myself to stick to my training. I felt around for the pocket on my vest, which was home to my spare flashlight. I honed in on my rapid breathing and concentrated on slowing it down. I slowed my heart that had been pounding on my rib cage, screaming to get out. I took one last deep breath and slowly and deliberately unzipped my pocket. My hands found the flashlight and fingered the switch. I wondered where the fish went. “Is he just as blind as I am?” I flicked on the switch and a faint beam of light reappeared, still focused on that small fish with the bright blue head. Then, it nonchalantly swam away.
In that moment of darkness, I was helpless. I was at the mercy of the ocean currents. God had a chance to take me right then and there, until I took control. It was only when I was able to collect myself and think straight that I was able to control the situation again. If I was going to overcome, I had to be the one in control. I had to think back to the fundamentals and find the solution. In this case it was as easy as finding my emergency flashlight and making a slow ascent to the surface.
Today, I think back to that dive with my dad when my light broke. I think about the panic that automatically set in. Then, most importantly, I think about how I overcame the situation. I simply had to calm down and think about what was happening and how to fix it. Then I recall the first breath of air that I took when I reached the surface. It felt so great to be safe again. But then I realized that at the surface of the water, there was nothing to explore. Life was beneath me, in the sea. While it was safer above the water, how can I let the opportunity pass me by? How could I sacrifice discovering that little fish so I would not have to deal with any problems? If I wanted to live my life and get the most out of it, I was going to have to take a risk. So I swam as fast as I could back to the boat, got a new flashlight, and descended again into a world so foreign to me to find another little fish with a neon blue head.





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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

JuliaRuby said...
Sept. 21, 2012 at 8:10 pm
loved this, makes me want to be in the ocean.  your writing totally captivates and draws you along as if you were half experiencing it as well.  well done. beautiful writing!
 
FyndFyre said...
Sept. 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm
Amazing! I loved it!
 
sweetangel4life said...
Aug. 8, 2012 at 10:30 am
very well written! i love the emotion in it! keep weiting and rememer to chek out my stuff.
 
BubbleRaptor This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 21, 2012 at 7:35 pm
Absolutely brilliant. I loved the writing. I could feel the fear, and the beauty, and the emotion. It was simple in a good way. Nicely done. 
 
SophiaCross said...
Mar. 13, 2012 at 7:03 pm
This makes me want to go on a dive!!!
 
AmORe said...
Apr. 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm

This is really good!(:

Good imagery i really enjoyed it.

And yes life is about overcoming your obsticales.

When a problem is in front of you do something about it.(:

Never weep about it and nothing(:

 
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